Budapest Restaurants

Hungarian Cuisine
The great traditions of Hungarian cuisine have, in the last ten to fifteen years, successfully mingled with modern sophistication. At its roots, classic Hungarian gastronomy is nothing less than French bonne bouches reaching Hungary via Austria and mixing with ancient Hungarian peasant dishes – many of them originated in Asia – offering every gourmand something to his/her taste.
The first thing that people recall about Hungarian cuisine is goulash, which is, contrary to popular belief, not a stew but an artistically prepared thick soup. Sour cream is often used to soften the flavour. You must try fish soup, chicken paprika, a good home-made pörkölt (stew) and the excellent fresh-water fish: grilled pike-perch, trout with almond. Also compulsory is goose liver. Whether fried or grilled, cold or hot, it is simply unforgettable.
Desserts really deserve a separate chapter. The most delicious ones are strudels, Gundel pancakes, somlói dumplings and gesztenyepüré (cooked chestnuts mashed, topped with whipped cream). Specialities include salty and sweet pastas, of which túrós csusza (pasta with curd and sour cream) is warmly recommended.

Wine Cafes

Hungarian Wine
Hungary’s annual wine production totals 4.2 million hectolitres mellowed in 22 historical wine regions. Budapest is known for its sizeable storage and bottling capacity.
Louis XIV, the Sun King, was such an admirer of world famous Tokaj wine that he termed it the “Wine of kings, the King of Wines”. Wine of the Balaton region, the full-bodied Villány-Siklós, the famous wines of Eger and the Egri Bikavér (Bull’s Blood) in particular also enjoy a wide international reputation.
Take a sip of world famous Hungarian wines in Budapest, or enjoy a Tour de Vin!
Budapest Wine Society (Budapesti Bortársaság)
I. Batthyány utca 59.
Free wine-tasting on Saturdays 14.00-17.00
House of Hungarian Wines (Magyar Borok Háza)
I. Szentháromság tér 6.
A several-hundred-metre-long cellar labyrinth holds 450 different types of quality wine from 22 historical wine regions in Hungary. Visitors get a tasting cup at the entrance and are allowed to wander around and taste up to 70-80 different wines.
Open: daily 12.00-20.00
Prés Ház Wine Shop and Museum
V. Váci utca 10.
Over 300 quality wines; free of charge wine-tasting; engraving and decorative packing; incentive wine presents for companies; reference books and antiquities related to wine-growing
Open: Monday-Friday 10.00-18.00, Saturday 10.00-14.00
House of Historic Wines (Történelmi Borok Háza)
XIV. Hungarian Agricultural Museum, Vajdahunyad Castle
A Gothic annexe of a neo-Baroque building hosts the exhibition presenting the past and the future of viticulture and wine production, housing the interior of a traditional pressroom from the Balaton wine region, the interior of a small peasant cellar and a wine-press from 1825.
Open: Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday 10.00-17.00
Törley Champagne Factory
XXII. Budafok
Visitors are shown aroundthe factory in groups (booking essential), glimpsing the huge wine cellars of Budafok.

Coffee Houses and Cake Shops

Between the wars Budapest’s coffee houses were famous. Taking on some of the functions of English clubs each had its own loyal clientele. Of those old coffee houses few now remain, although it is true a number of newcomers are trying to recreate some of former atmosphere. The grandest was on the ground floor of the New York Palace. Although this too has been closed for a number of years, it is in fact undergoing a painstaking renovation and conversion into an hotel, and the coffee house is expected to reopen in the not too distant future. The Centrál Coffee House (on the corner of Károlyi Mihály utca) has already reopened after having long been in a state of neglect. The Zsolnay Coffee House (Váci utca 20) is part of the Taverna Hotel. The Angelika Coffee House is in Buda, at Batthyány tér 7.
Many of Budapest’s famous cake shops are also, in effect, coffee houses. In the heart of the city, the most famous of all is Gerbeaud, on Vörösmarty Square. It has operated continually since 1858 and is known the world over. The Hauer on Rákóczi út and the Ruszwurm in the Castle District are also popular. At the Zsolnay Coffee Shop within the Béke Hotel on Teréz körút you can enjoy coffee and cakes served on Zsolnay porcelain. Auguszt is another business that has been passed on through generations of the same family. It has branches in Buda at Fény u. 8 and in Pest at Kossuth L. u. 14-16. The Szamos Marzipan outlet on Párizsi utca is also a favourite for its ice cream.
Gerbeaud Confectionery
V., Vörösmarty tér 7
Tel.: 429-9000
Open: 9 am-9 pm
Traditional cakes and pastries served in a sumptuous environment
Hauer Confectionery
VIII. Rákóczi 47-49
Tel.: 323-1476
Open: 10 am-8 pm

Traditional cakes

Lukács Confectionery
VI., Andrássy út 70
Tel.: 302-8747
Open: weekdays: 9 am-8 pm, Saturday, Sunday: 10 am-8 pm
Old-style café milieu, traditional range of cakes etc.
Múzeum Café and Restaurant
VIII., Múzeum krt. 12
Tel.: 267-0375
Open: Monday-Saturday midday-midnight
Elegant milieu, Hungarian and international flavours
Művész Café
VI., Andrássy út 29.
Tel.: 352-1337
Open: daily 9 am-midnight
Distinguished milieu, traditional cakes, sandwiches
I., Szentháromság tér 7
Tel.: 375-5284
Open: Monday-Sunday: 10 am-7 pm
Hungarian and international cuisine
Taverna-Zsolnay Café
V., Váci u. 20
Tel.: 485-3100
Open: 9 am-10 pm
Nearly 100 types of cake, coffee specialities
Zsolnay Café
VI., Teréz krt. 43 (Radisson SAS Béke Hotel)
Tel.: 301-1600
Open: 10 am-9.30 pm
Magical cakes, superb coffees served on Zsolnay porcelain